Platt realized that sometimes churches “can – unknowingly and unintentionally – actually prevent God's people from accomplishing God's purpose.” (3) Yes, the church may be doing “good” things. But, “We must be willing to sacrifice good things in the church in order to experience the great things of God.” (9)
He uses the example of their losing their house in New Orleans (Katrina). Is your community of faith willing to put all the programs and activities before the levee and ask God to sweep them away if they are not what God wants?
Platt argues that “the ultimate goal of the church is to take the gospel to all people groups,” so, “everything we do in church must be aimed toward that end.” (88) “We organize our churches as if God exists to meet our needs, cater to our comforts, and appeal to our preferences.” (105) What motivates a church to God's purposes “is a glimpse of the sovereign, holy, majestic God who is worthy of all worship, who is high and lifted up. This vision alone will compel a church to radical, risk-taking, death defying obedience to the purpose of God in the world.” (109)
The question that consumes Platt: “How can we in the church best unleash the people of God in the Spirit of God with the Word of God for the glory of God in the world?” (125)
There is a great discussion guide at the back of the book for small groups and leadership teams. The six sessions help guide leaders through discussion and planning, discerning God's purposes.
Multnomah, 158 pages.